Today is National Vitamin C Day. If you’re wondering why vitamin C deserves its own day, well wonder no more. This vitamin is important—essential, actually—for SO many reasons!
So let’s peel back the layers on this essential vitamin.
Benefits of Vitamin C
While keeping the seasonal cold at bay may come to mind when you hear vitamin C, this water-soluble vitamin supports many systems in our bodies.
Here are just a few health benefits of vitamin C:
Supports a healthy immune system
Promotes healthy bones, teeth, cartilage and skin
Promotes optimal wound healing
Boosts dietary iron absorption
Serves as an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage that can lead to aging and disease
Essential for the body’s production of compouns (like collage L-carnitine and neurotransmitters) that help the body produce energy and support healthy nerve, muscle, heart and brain functioning
Vitamin C Needs
There are two reasons why we need to consume adequate vitamin C regularly. One, our bodies do not synthesize vitamin C so it is essential for us to get this nutrient from our diets. Two, vitamin C is water-soluble, meaning our bodies do not store it so we need a regular intake to meet nutrient needs.
Children aged 3-8 years old need about 25 mg/day
Children aged 8-13 years old need 45 mg/day
Teenagers need about 65-75 mg/day (males closer to 75 mg/day, females closer to 65 mg/day)
Adults aged 19-64 years old need 40 mg/day
Food Sources of Vitamin C
Yes, oranges are a great source of vitamin C, but you can think beyond citrus! The good news is that vitamin C is readily available in MANY fruits and vegetables. And, vitamin C needs can be met if you eat a variety of produce daily.
Here are some of the best sources of vitamin C.
Red bell peppers
Green bell peppers
An easy way to meet vitamin C needs… enjoy some strawberries or kiwi in your morning oatmeal or smoothie, add tomatoes to you salad and lemon juice to your salad dressing, snack on red bell pepper sticks and roast some broccoli for dinner.
And if you need to up your iron levels, pair these vitamin C-rich foods with iron-containing foods (think meat, poultry, seafood, spinach, broccoli, beans, pumpkin seeds, tofu, quinoa and dark chocolate) for a double nutrient dose.
PLEASE SHARE: What are your favorite vitamin C-rich foods? Please share. We’d love to hear from you!